Success for Manchester Fashion Institute and Manchester Law School’s new pilot programme with Beyond Corporate Law delivering legal support for aspiring young fashion entrepreneurs.

Manchester Metropolitan University’s Manchester Fashion Institute and Manchester Law School has launched a first-of-its-kind pilot programme “Legal for Fashion” in collaboration with Manchester based Beyond Corporate Law

The “Legal for Fashion” pilot programme sets out to provide legal support for aspiring young fashion entrepreneurs studying at Manchester Met’s Manchester Fashion Institute (MFI). The programme has been delivered by Manchester Met’s Manchester Law School and MFI in an exclusive partnership with Beyond Corporate Law which has offered pro-bono support to both legal and fashion students at Manchester Met.

The pilot programme saw Manchester Met law students present to MFI students, fundamental legal considerations when starting a fashion business. Supported by Partners and junior lawyers from Beyond Corporate, fashion students had the opportunity to hear from the law students before breaking out into smaller groups where fashion students could speak to the law students, along with the team from Beyond Corporate, in more detail, asking how they could enhance and protect their start-up businesses and brands on issues such as IP exploitation and theft, and the pitfalls of influencer marketing.

The pilot programme is a combined initiative between two Manchester Met Faculties Barbara Shepherd (Reader in Fashion Business) and Martin Harrison – (Senior Lecturer – The Law School) supported by a Manchester based legal firm (James Corlett – Managing Partner, Beyond Corporate Law) that specialises in legal support for the fashion and retail sector.

The aim of the programme is to provide final-year fashion and legal students with a unique opportunity to gain insight into the intricacies of launching a business and navigating the many legal challenges that they will face.

Manchester is home to over 120,000 students and has one of the largest student populations in western Europe. Many of these students will look to develop and start their own businesses both while at university and when they graduate. This programme will enable students to be aware of the legal challenges and necessities of ensuring that their business can flourish and is legally protected and compliant with UK law.

Following the success of the initial pilot project, the plan is to initially roll the programme out across other programmes in the Creative and Digital sector.

The follow-on planned programme will be led by Barbara Shepherd and Senior Law Lecturer at Manchester Met, Martin Harrison, with continued support and guidance from James Corlett and the team at Beyond Corporate Law.


Barbara Shepherd, Fashion Reader in Fashion Business at Manchester Fashion Institute says:

“This programme offers a unique opportunity for students to help students. Fashion students by nature are creative and entrepreneurial. They need to be supported in an industry that is fast moving, ruthlessly competitive and where operating margins are low.

“By having an understanding of the legal requirements and costs associated with protecting your brand we can prepare our fashion students for the reality of setting up and running their own creative business.

“Law students were able to learn how to tailor their legal knowledge for students from the fashion sector which has specific legal challenges related to the complexity of the international supply chain associated with this creative industry sector.”


Martin Harrison, Senior Law Lecturer at Manchester Law School comments:

This was a fantastic opportunity for our law students to present 4 business related topics to the fashion students in the surroundings of the prestigious Moot Court Room. The collaboration between MFI and Manchester Law School has developed over the last few months with the support of Beyond Corporate culminating in an event which was highly appreciative by all those who were involved. This was a very successful pilot programme and hopefully, we can build on this and provide more opportunities for our students in the future.”


James Corlett, Managing Partner of Beyond Corporate Law adds:

Amidst the dynamic landscape of the fashion industry, Beyond Corporate’s collaboration with the distinguished fashion school at MFI and Manchester Law School has been a truly ground-breaking initiative.

“By combining the creative energy of the MFI with the legal expertise of Beyond Corporate and the academic rigor of Manchester Law School , we are helping to ensure that the next generation of fashion professionals is equipped with a robust legal foundation to excel in the global digital market with a solid understanding of the legal and commercial landscape governing the industry as well as supporting law students in the local area and exhibiting Beyond Corporate’s expertise in the creative and digital sector. This collaboration is a win-win for everyone involved, and I’m incredibly excited to see the innovative and impactful work that will continue to emerge from this partnership.”


This pilot programme was developed by the following staff from Manchester Met and Beyond Corporate Law

Manchester Fashion Institute

Barbara Shepherd -Reader in Fashion Business

Cathy Chase – Senior Lecturer -Fashion Business

Nathalie Evans Senior Lecturer -Fashion Business

Manchester Met – Manchester Law School

Martin Harrison -Senior Lecturer – Manchester Law School

Emma Goodwin – Director Pro Bono-Manchester Law School

Helen Chalk – Deputy Head – Manchester Law School

Zeenat Pathan – Programme Support Tutor – Manchester Law School 

Beyond Corporate Law

James Corlett – Managing Partner of Beyond Corporate Law

Molly Hackett – Commercial Solicitor, Beyond Corporate Law

Blake Reed – Social Media and Content Executive, Beyond Law Group


For Further enquiries about this programme please contact., or